Who is the real perceived enemy of the Ukrainian protesters? Picture from @BBCDanielS @BBCr4today pic.twitter.com/1YWypjcFFM
— Marc Evan Aupiais (@SACNSNew) April 19, 2014
This image was published Today by the BBC. Slogans in English, both references to American interference, with one referencing the EU also. 'Leave Ukraine Alone', is very suggestive of their real enemy. It isn't their countrymen, but the foreign powers which gladly conveyed those supporting the Maiden riots into power and continue to support them. Maiden was all a protest against not signing trade treaties with the European Union. Europe felt much obliged to support the protesters and oust the Democratically Elected but Europe despising President who refused to sign his predecessor's planned treaty.
The slogans seem to suggest the protesters are patriots, not separatists. It is not that they want to join Russia, but that they are objecting to the Maiden Riots installed government that replaced the one they elected.
These are not Separatists or Pro-Russians, these are Ukrainian patriots, of the anti-Administration variety. Think occupy Wall Street but with guns, in a country where the government might very well shoot protesters for such an occupation. After all, the army has been summoned in, not riot police or the Ukrainian variety of SWAT teams.
Christian Science Monitor recently interviewed people on the streets in Ukraine's Russian Speaking part... they didn't find pro-Russian or separatist views at all, and even stated that the armed building occupiers themselves who they were unable to interview, seemed to be protesting for a plurality of demands, changing what they want every five minutes, and certainly not in any firm way supporting joining Russia or Russia itself.
The swift, outright rejection of the Russian supported Geneva agreement further emphasizes the fact that protesters don't care about not embarrassing Russia. Some in media have even now decided to call what they called pro-Russian separatists 'rebels', although protesters still is the term the majority of actors are best described by.
To quote what I wrote Yesterday (If you read it, there is nothing new I have to say in this article):
It is strange how quickly the parliament of Crimea declared the new Ukrainian leaders illegitimate after the ousting of the nation's democratically elected East loving President. Crimea had been perfectly happy to remain in Ukraine right until about that point.
Likewise the swiftness with which that new Ukrainian parliament approved a bill to ban speaking Russian is astounding (their new President vetoed that bill but only after the East expressed their outrage).
Once Crimea joined Russia, amidst civilian activism for it, other Eastern regions saw ethnic Ukrainians, who speak Russian in their daily business lives, occupying buildings much as the Maiden protesters did. Unlike with the Maiden protesters, deadly force against the Eastern protesters was something the West not only stomached but seemed to yearn for.
The USA praised the Maiden installed new Ukrainian government for sending the army in to quell the dissent in the East of Ukraine and in the South, calling such a move 'restraint'.
Ukraine has always been split between Russian speaking and Ukrainian Speaking. Such is the legacy of history, and of its once being 'one nation' with Russia. The Maiden protesters were from the latter, they spoke Ukrainian, the former President from the former, his support came from the East and from the South.
With massive Western support for the Maiden protesters and the government they brought to power through Molotov cocktails and EU pressure, the Eastern peoples in Ukraine saw that one side of the world stage opposed them. How many reports call them terrorists, or a mob or many other things? Their objection to a government they never elected taking power specifically to ally with the EU, could be a dangerous game without backing from Russia or the East, Kiev looked like a war zone under Maiden protests, but no one dared call it anything but legitimate protest in the West.
In Geneva, Russia and other Geo-Political players hashed out a deal: Constitutional reforms and amnesty in exchange for the de-occupation of buildings. Unfortunately for these powers, Russia is not in charge of the protests. The Protesters are often lukewarm to Russia whatever their official claims. The Geneva agreement has been rejected by protesters, who don't seemed awed by the Russian request that they quiet down.
The Eastern Protesters needed some powerful card to protect them from a crackdown and almost certain death. They chose Russia, though their real desires are not to join it. This is why they reject an agreement between everyone but themselves.
As I wrote recently:
The Pro-Russians in the East and South East hardly said much of a word that anyone might have noticed before the Maiden riots in Kiev ousted the democratically elected President of Ukraine, and saw him put on the new leader's wanted list as a criminal. Likewise, protesters in the east are called 'terrorists', and the West seems to support use of force against them: a far cry from its position in almost every other recent conflict. Is it not possible, as Christian Science Monitor found, that there is very little support for Separatism among the people in the East and South East, and even among the Pro-Russians. Is it not possible, that this is merely what they see as the safest way to protest against an unelected government, which has attempted to ban the language all business is done in: Russian (The new leaders' President vetoed a bill that the new leaders' parliament voted for: banning Russian). Is it not possible that these pro-Russian ethnic and national Ukrainians, are merely worried about the events in Kiev, and are thus ordinary voices of dissent, voices which are being silenced by force of death?